The key to attaining long hair can be summed up by one simple equation:
If the amount of hair grown is GREATER THAN the amount of hair lost THEN long hair will abound
It’s all about retention really as hair generally grows regardless of what we do or don’t do. What a good regimen does is help us hold on to what we grow by keeping it healthy. Thus a regimen is a series of actions and activities which help to achieve the following:
A winning battle plan involves a combination of both these strategies; though tackling hair loss usually comes first as this is often the most obvious and pressing problem most people deal with when they first start on a healthy hair journey. Techniques and products to encourage hair growth are a secondary consideration but can in time have a part to play. Before we can begin to work towards minimising hair loss however, we must first understand the potential causes. We use the term ‘hair loss’ very broadly to cover both the voluntary and involuntary loss of hair from the head.
CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS
The most common form of hair loss is via damage/breakage caused by poor hair maintenance. Neglect is the number one reason why many Black women struggle to grow their hair past certain lengths. Lack of knowledge, time or motivation are three of the most regularly used excuses for neglecting ones hair. A good regimen however uses information specific to your hair and scalp, takes into account your schedule and time constraints and produces positive results which in turn is a great motivator.
*Relaxing, combing, using straighteners, all these activities can also cause damage to hair when used improperly. Part of a good regimen involves limiting these activities and in some cases, stopping all together.*
Scalp/skin disorders (e.g. Eczema and Psoriasis)
Scalp disorders such as Eczema, Psoriasis and Seborrheic Dermatitis can lead not just to hair loss but can also stunt the natural genetic growth rate. It is vital to see a Dermatologist or Trichologist to help resolve these issues; they should NOT be ignored as the hair loss could become permanent. Both of us suffer from Seborrheic Dermatitis, in fact it runs in our family and we noticed a marked improvement in our growth rate once we had the condition under control.
Underlying health issues (i.e. Thyroid or other hormonal imbalances)
Many autoimmune disorders such as Graves disease and Lupus can cause temporary hair loss; in fact Alopecia itself is considered an autoimmune disease. It’s important to see a healthcare professional if you are experiencing unexplained or excessive shedding as it may be a symptom of a bigger problem. Tola herself suffers from Graves disease which if left untreated can cause hair to become brittle.
Healthy hair growth starts from within and when lacking vital nutrients, the body often compromises on non-essential areas such as nails, skin and hair. A good diet should have sufficient protein and include the necessary vitamins and minerals.
It seems obvious but trimming too regularly will not make your hair grow! Trimming serves an important function in removing split ends which can travel up the hair shaft and cause more damage if left alone. The frequency of trims depends on how much chemical and mechanical damage the hair is subject to. If you comb and use direct heat regularly then you will probably need to trim more frequently than someone who is heat free and protective styles the majority of the time.
Do you suffer or think you might suffer from any of these hair loss issues? How has if affected you and how have you dealt with it?